Rail Customer Experience Survey Joint Privacy Notice


The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT; part of Network Rail Infrastructure Limited) are undertaking research for the wider rail industry to understand passengers’ experience of rail journeys. Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and the survey will be carried out according to the Market Research Society (MRS) Code of Conduct.

RDG have contracted BVA BDRC (an independent research agency) to collect responses to this survey. All parties have taken every precaution to ensure the privacy and security of your data during the survey.

How the data will be used

The data will be used by the rail industry to inform improvements in rail services and passenger experience.

BVA BDRC contract with Alligator Research who use FocusVision to operate the survey questionnaire software and data collection process. The data from the survey will be held by FocusVision in a separate database and only BVA BDRC will receive the data collected by FocusVision from the survey.

Alligator Research use cookies, IP address, a pseudo-anonymous identifier, and other similar devices only for quality control, validation and to prevent bothersome repeat surveying. It is possible to configure your browser to notify you when cookies are being placed on your computer, and to delete cookies by adjusting your browser settings. Alligator Research do not do any invisible processing of data from your computer. We will only collect and use personal data in accordance with this notice to the extent deemed reasonably necessary to serve our legitimate business purposes, and we will maintain appropriate safeguards to ensure the security, integrity, accuracy and privacy of the data you have provided.

At no time will the data you provide be used for any purpose other than research and you will in no way be adversely affected by taking part. It is not our aim to sell or promote anything. This is a market research survey using scientific methods and we commit, in obtaining your co-operation, not to mislead you about the nature of the research or how the findings will be used.

Why do we use and collect your personal data?

As part of this survey, we will ask about your age, gender, working status, postcode, ethnicity, transport usage, origin and destination station, and about any disabilities you may have. You do not have to provide this data if you do not want to, although it is very helpful when we analyse the responses to help us inform of improvements needed.

The rail industry needs a high-quality data set to help it deliver as good an experience for its customers as possible. This could involve local or central government formulating strategy and policy, industry bodies developing their planning, and operators delivering their service to customers.

  • We need your email address only if you wish to enter our prize draw, so that we can contact you in the event that you win the draw.
  • We need your postcode so that we can understand how far you have to travel to the station, how long it might take to travel there, and to group you with others in your local area to help us understand the people who travel in more detail.
  • We need your demographic data to be able to analyse survey responses using these characteristics. This helps us understand if some communities have better experiences than others, and ensure there is no discrimination in the service we offer.
  • We need data on your disability to be able to analyse survey responses for different disabled groups, and understand what we can do to improve the experience of these groups specifically
  • Historical data will be kept to monitor performance over time, and to allow a greater understanding of the influences on customer satisfaction

Our lawful basis

RDG and GBRTT’s lawful basis for processing your data as part of the survey is Article 6(1)(e) of the UK GDPR – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

Where special category personal data is being processed, a further section of the UK GDPR applies, Article 9(2)(g) – substantial public interest.

RDG’s lawful basis for processing your personal data as part of the prize draw is Article 6(1)(a) of the UK GDPR – the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data. You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting RailSurvey@bva-bdrc.com.

Data sharing

RDG and GBRTT will function as Joint Data Controllers for your personal data. BVA BDRC and Rail Delivery Group will function as key Data Processors.

Your personal data will be processed on behalf of RDG by BVA BDRC. Your responses, including the personal data you submit, will be shared by BVA BDRC with Rail Delivery Group (RDG), who will store and process your data on behalf of the GBRTT.

If you have consented to participate in a voucher prize draw, BVA BDRC will not share your email address with any other organisation.

Your responses may be made accessible to wider organisations in rail, including train operating companies, Network Rail and Transport Focus. With your data, they will be able to identify issues and react quickly to these as they arise; as well as conduct analysis to ensure that the needs and priorities of all rail users are represented, including those with protected characteristics. Anonymised and aggregated data in the form of reporting will also be made available to the general public.

We have strong security measures in place to prevent your responses being misused. In addition, we will limit access to your personal data to those employees, within the wider organisations in rail, who have a business need to access this only. We will not transfer your personal data outside of the UK.

The following table summarises the data that we will collect; who is responsible for it; and how it will be used:

Activity Type of Data Data Controller Data Processors
Prize Draw Contact Details RDG BVA BDRC
Run and process survey data Personal/Special category (minus contact details) RDG, GBRTT BVA BDRC, RDG
Data feeds Personal/Special category (minus contact details) GBRTT RDG Accessed by: TOCs Network Rail, Transport Focus
Open data feed Data will be anonymised before it is made available to the public GBRTT Accessed by: Public
Historical data Personal/Special category (minus contact details) GBRTT RDG
Collecting cookies Cookies RDG BVA BDRC, Alligator Research (sub-processor)

Managing your data

Your data will be kept securely by BVA BDRC, who will only retain personal identifiable data on their systems for six months from the point of collection. Once transferred to RDG, your data will be stored for the length of time that the research is required for.

Email addresses collected as part of the prize draw will be deleted by BVA BDRC as soon as prizes have been administered.

For more information about your rights in relation to personal data, how to complain and how to contact the Data Protection Officer for each data controller:

If you have questions or concerns about:

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the way your data has been handled with the Information Commissioners Office by post: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or on their website (https://ico.org.uk).

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